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Accreditation and quality assurance

Denmark has, as part of the Bologna Process, implemented the European Standards and Guidelines for the quality assurance of the higher educations (ESG), and all public higher education study programmes must meet these international quality and relevance standards.

For all institutions of higher education accreditation is mandatory and a precondition for attaining public funding. The accreditation system is based on the 2013 Act on the Accreditation of Institutions of Higher Education, and the responsibility of implementing the Act lies with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The Act aims to create a system with a view to ensuring and documenting the quality and relevance of higher education in the Danish educational institutions. The Danish Qualifications Framework has been incorporated into the quality criteria of the accreditation system.

The act changes the system of accreditation from programme accreditation to institution accreditation. An educational institution that is subject to Section 1(1) undergoes institution accreditation with focus on the ongoing systematic work of the educational institution to safeguard and develop the quality and relevance of its study programmes. Institutions with a positive institution accreditation are entitled to establish new study programmes and new offerings of study programmes after these have been pre-qualified and approved and to make adjustments to existing study programmes. Institutions that have not yet obtained a positive institution accreditation must have their study programmes accredited.  

According to the Accreditation Act, the Accreditation Council is the specific unit which makes the decisions regarding accreditation of all higher education study programmes and institutions of higher education. The Council has the authority to award, conditionally award, or deny the accreditation of all higher education programmes and institutions of higher education. Decisions are made on the basis of accreditation reports prepared by the accreditation operator.

The Danish Accreditation Agency prepares accreditation reports for the purpose of the Accreditation Council's decisions concerning the accreditation of educational institutions and study programmes. Accreditation takes place on the basis of centrally laid down criteria.

Institutions are required to set up their own internal quality assurance procedures. The Universities Act specifies the role of deans, heads of department and study boards, respectively, in assuring and developing the quality of education and teaching. Self-evaluation, in which students normally participate, is an integral mandatory part of any evaluation.

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last modified June 09, 2020